Becoming Carter

By: W.S. Greer

 (The Carter Series) (Volume 2)

When the door to the secluded room in the back of the Versailles restaurant swung open, the five men at the table immediately stopped talking and stood up. The eight other men and two women who weren’t seated at the table followed suit and rose from their chairs that were lined up around the perimeter of the room, just as the man they’d all been waiting for came slowly strolling in wearing a plain gray suit with a black button up underneath, and no tie. Everyone could tell that something was wrong. The tension that they all felt was immediately perceptible, and the look on his face let them all know that something serious was happening. They knew that everything was about to change.

The man in charge sauntered over to the small glass table and pulled out the large leather chair that had been pushed in at the head of the table. Before taking his seat, he surveyed the room and looked at every person who was present, looking them directly in the eyes to let them know that he saw them—that he loved them. The lights in the room were dim, but he could see the eyes of every one of his family members who stood in front of him. He recognized the tension on some of their faces, but today, he wouldn’t say or do anything to put them at ease. They needed to be on edge now. They needed to be tense. They needed to be alert.

He knew they were waiting for him. They wouldn’t move until he said so. So, Ivan Baskov slowly raised his hands as if welcoming them all to the meeting, and finally said “Sest’, moya sem’ya” (Sit down, my family). Everyone in the room slowly took their seats and waited for Ivan to begin.

“Nine months ago,” Ivan started, “I made a wager with Mr. Kelvin Carter. You all know who that is. What the bet was on is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that I won. Kelvin Carter lost. The penalty for losing this particular bet was five-hundred-thousand dollars. That money, now plus interest, is still owed to me. But, that is not the full reason why we’re here today.”

Ivan paused for affect, while every other person in the room let his words begin to sink in. They now knew what this was all about, and they were ready.

“Six months ago,” Ivan continued, “Kelvin Carter Jr. put a hit on my son, Abram. They shot him twice, but as God would have it, Abram survived and is here with us today.”

Everyone in the room turned to look at Abram who was seated in a chair in the corner of the poorly lit room. Abram nodded at them, and every person who was present nodded in return, almost in unison. They all understood what he’d gone through, and being reminded of what had happened to him filled them all with rage.

Ivan cleared his throat and recaptured everyone’s attention. “The Carters have disrespected us. They’ve broken an agreement, and even worse, they’ve tried to gun down my son. Vash brat (your brother)! We will not stand for this. I know you all have been waiting for this, just as I have. Well today, moya sem’ya (my family), the wait is finally over. We’ve been silent long enough. We’ve let them get comfortable, and I’m sure they are all dumb enough to believe that everything is over. But, we’re just beginning.” Ivan looked to the man who was sitting directly to his left. “So, where are we?”

Ivan’s second in command and younger brother, Ilia Baskov, cleared his throat and ran his hand through his wavy dark brown hair before speaking. “We’ve had tabs on the captains in the Carter family, but the one and two have been much harder to keep an eye on. They’re very good at keeping a low profile. They haven’t had much luck keeping Kelvin Jr. hidden though. They seem to think that swapping out his modes of transportation will be enough to throw us off, but we’ve been aware of just about every move they’ve made in regards to Kelvin Jr. He uses a variation of four different vehicles, and has a bodyguard with him at all times. The bodyguard isn’t the issue, however. There’s something else.”

Ivan scrunched his forehead in frustration. “That’s not what I want to here, Ilia. What’s the issue?”

“Tracking Kelvin Jr. isn’t the problem. It’s his girlfriend,” Ilia responded.

“Ah, the one from the restaurant. How is that a problem?”

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